Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

98 Comments
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By Paulina Conn

The Cota Street parking lot is not idle five days a week as City Council Member Randy Rowse implies. It is a “no-vacancy” commuter lot with parkers paying the City receiving $70 per month per parking space permit. This lot is especially needed since workers can not afford to live in Santa Barbara and increased density rental housing with inadequately mandated on site parking is causing increased dwelling unit parking on public streets leaving less for others.

Cota Street floods in heavy rains. First responders will have a hard time getting out.

Look at all the sandbags on Anacapa Street just half a block away. Parents picking up students during heavy rains at Santa Barbara Junior High, which is located on Cota St. just a few flat blocks east, have to park on streets north and walk to ensure their vehicles do not get stuck on flooded streets.

Police station underground parking is likely to contaminate the drinking water supply with salt- water intrusion.  Cota St. is only 12 to 15 feet above sea level. The greatest concentration of groundwater wells is right here. See the study done in 1984 by the USGS. https://pubs.usgs.gov/wsp/2197/report.pdf.  There are no barriers to salt-water intrusion at any level of the wells. Vera Cruz Park, right across from the lot, is a primary monitoring site. City supplied water information is at: ahttps://www.usbr.gov/mp/watershare/docs/2012/city-of-santa-barbara.pdf.

Lanny Ebenstein has proposed the purchase of the publicly owned La Cuesta High School site at 710 Santa Barbara. This is a sloping hill with no likely flooding or salt-water intrusion. Perhaps La Cuesta could move to the newly acquired Armory site.

The City is using excuses as to why other places are not feasible for a Police station including the current site. The current site is likely large enough with the proper design. If not, the next door building on the corner at Santa Barbara and Figueroa,  is “For Sale” or buy an adjacent apartment on Anapamu St. The cost of private purchase is small over time. Give the community the criteria and ask for volunteer designs at the current location. Underground parking at the current site can be dug without contaminating ground water.  The current station can be rebuilt taller. This is a sloping piece of property. If there is a will there is a way including temporary place(s) during construction.

The Cota Street lot is perfect for the Farmer’s Market. It serves the most positive of functions for locals, tourists, and businesses.

A winning solution for the Police Station is possible. Cota Street is seen, short-sightedly as a financially cheap, easy solution but long term it is a costly, losing solution.


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98 Comments

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BlueHorseshoe Sep 17, 2019 10:34 PM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

The funny part is that all of the hard views, opinions and banter here are completely irrelevant. Go put your energy into something meaningful. I hate when people try to tell me what i can or cant do with my property, its not for us to decide. If you want to watch the cost of the studies skyrocket and just cost more, keep bickering, otherwise let the process proceed. You all go to work reasonably confident youre going home after your shift. Cops dont have that priviledge because they're out dealing with the trash in society. Give them a break and give them a nice adequate safe place to be. Jesus people, care about things that matter!

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 09:01 PM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

Well, it's settled. The Council voted with reason, not emotion and sentiment. I'm sure the Farmer's Market will do just fine at a new location. ---------- https://www.keyt.com/news/santa-barbara-city-council-votes-4-to-2-in-favor-of-police-station-location-recommendation/1122205237

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 03:12 PM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

It matters not where the building is located. It matters where the police cars, with the police, are located. If police cars are at building, then there's something wrong with the picture. Have them out on patrol. The criminals can be brought into any building, Sears, or Cota, or elsewhere. That's where the criminals will be...in the building.

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 02:06 PM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

There was a feasibility study done 30 years ago. Another one started 10 years ago as to how to expand the PD. Many alternatives were considered, including buying up adjacent properties. No one wanted to sell. The existing PD site is contaminated with lead in the basement firing range. The environmental cleanup to simply demolish it will cost a fortune. Temporarily relocating the PD to build on the same site doesn't make fiscal sense when they can stay where they are while building on an empty lot. The building needs to be a Essential Services building. In the event of a sizable earthquake or other natural disaster, when half the town is destroyed and or we are cut off from outside help because roadways/trains/runways are destroyed, we will need as much order in town that Fire Depts and Police can deliver.

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 12:26 PM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

Public safety vs merch tents: I can't even believe we are having this discussion after the two recent (avoidable) community disasters where obvious safety precautions were ignored. 24/7 vs 4 hrs/1x per wk

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 02:25 PM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

PITMIX - do a search for the term "Sears" and "Earl Warren" on this and the other threads on Edhat about the police station. Then, come back and tell me no one is discussing them. Thanks!

PitMix Sep 17, 2019 02:15 PM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

1:21, Sears and Earl Warren are not being discussed by anyone who knows the history. The potential sites under consideration were all in the downtown area, and the Cota site was the best of them. But you can discuss them if you want.

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 01:21 PM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

ZEROHAWK - I'm not 356, but I had to chime in. Looks like you're not familiar with what's being discussed. It's not choosing between Cota and Figueroa - it's between Cota and Sears and Earl Warren. The station at Figueroa is getting moved, the question is where. Most everyone seems to agree Cota (6 blocks away) is a better option that the other 2.

ZeroHawk Sep 17, 2019 01:18 PM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

356, please elaborate. Please explain how moving a building maybe....6 blocks is a matter of public safety. I'm really....honestly trying to understand your comment. How would a community disaster be avoided if the PD had a station on Cota and not Figueroa?

ChillinGrillin Sep 17, 2019 11:03 AM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

It is absurd that SBPD even needs to consider working around a farmer's market that takes place once a week. The points made about flooding and groundwater pollution are absurd. I have never seen significant flooding there in 25 years and our water supply doesn't come from Needle Park. Maybe yours does. The current station is a disaster waiting to happen and the police station needs to be an operations center during an earthquake, not a pile of wreckage.

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 01:42 PM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

ZERO - "It's been there 35 years" is the weakest argument in the land - try harder. Also, why are you so obsessed with the police not being the 1st responders to earthquakes - that is also absurd. Police, paramedics, fire dept., red cross, EVERYONE is a first responder to a natural disaster. You know that. The only other earthquake issue you may be addressing is that Sears is on an active fault. So, putting it at the Cota locations avoids putting the police station (which is FAR more important than a temporary market) in harms way in the future. Finally, who are you to determine that our police dept. doesn't need a new station? They need it a heck of a lot more than you and "10000 people downtown" (I highly doubt that #) need a market that 's only open 4 hours a week.....

ZeroHawk Sep 17, 2019 01:20 PM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

Chillin' well there are close to 10000 people downtown that disagree with you. I'm one of them. The businesses and restaurants downtown are another. It's also been there 35 years. It has more support for an uneeded new station. Absurd points about flooding? Are you new to SB? Op center for an earthquake? LOL The police don't deal with earthquakes. They deal with crime. Earthquakes don't equate to crime. It equates to the red cross, the paramedics, the fire department. Not the police.

ZeroHawk Sep 17, 2019 01:24 PM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

In the event of a big earthquake, are you going to call Farmer's Market because the PD won't be there to respond? what??? that's just dumb. who calls the POLICE when there is an earthquake??? Call the Fire department, yes, paramedics maybe. Police? no....they aren't trained earthquake specialists. this is getting dumber by the moment.

biguglystick Sep 17, 2019 10:23 AM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

As someone who works on Cota street, I do NOT want the police station to be relocated there. It's a bad place for it. I second the idea of the old Verizon building on Chapala and Canon Period. Why is that not being discussed?

tagdes Sep 17, 2019 03:39 PM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

At 1:33 pm that's exactly what I just said. Can't you read....and no need to yell. 10:33 am said ---2 Verizon building is not for sale and at 10:59 I said neither is Sears. What can't you comprehend in that statement. Not to mention as also been mentioned here, if they really want it they can easily get it by eminent domain. I'm sure you have no clue how all these freeways got built right thru prime private property.

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 10:33 AM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

BIGUGLY - 1) The need for a police station overrides your desire to not have traffic congestion. That's BS anyway, since how much traffic do you see around the existing station......------- 2) The Verizon building is not for sale, that's why no one is discussing it. _______________The choice is so darn simple folks.

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 09:42 AM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

People should also know that the existing Police Station could become a giant coffin in the next big earthquake. I can't believe they are even still using it! Moving a few merch tents vs a vitally important community law enforcement building need - no brainer. Please let's get on with this and build it already. This community doesn't need any more avoidable disasters.

Roger Sep 17, 2019 11:17 AM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

I think there are some people who don't care about the police they want them out of sight out of mind for other reasons and I don't think that is very nice they always respond when called.

SantaBarbaraObserver Sep 17, 2019 09:30 AM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

People should know that there will never be a Farmer's Market at La Cumbre as long as there are grocery stores located in the center. The lease holders require non-competitive / exclusivity for their business in these types of centers. So take your pipe dreams of a police station as the entire building would have to be retrofitted and pretty much rebuilt to meet modern building standards of a public safety HQ, not too mention purchased at market rate. Its never, ever going to happen there.

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 09:12 AM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

I support the Cota St site for the Police Station. It is a highly important community function and building. Our existing one is extremely antiquated - dangerously so. If you don't know the day-to-day functioning of our local police force, then don't comment on what they need or don't need. Having participated in this process for the past 10 years, I know the City leaders will make the right decision today to move the Farmer's Market to De la Guerra Plaza. There is plenty of room and room to expand - down De La Guerra St, Storke Placita, and even close a State Street Block. Please get over it and let's get this vitally important building built. For those of you who suggest other sites, I beg you to read the website and all the reasons why Sears and other vacant buildings won't work. The building of a police station requires seismic requirements that old buildings DO NOT MEET, whereas the Farmer's Market requires space for trucks and pop-up tents. No brainer.

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 08:52 AM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

710 Santa Barbara St, La Cuesta, lacks parking. Perhaps the Armory is where police station best be located with gymnasium in place for Police Activities League - PAL. There’s plenty of room to build out police headquarters, interrogation rooms, family waiting area. Suspect holding areas, and finally to develop the much needed digital tech center to pursue white collar, money laundering and human trafficking crimes. There’s space to provide a vehicle service garage and ample parking. Extra bonus: proximity to schools.

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 08:17 AM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

Move the framers market and fail to mention that paid commuters occupy the lot Monday through Friday is a classic city council ploy, divert attention away from the real problem. I don't remember how these lots were funded years back I suspect it was a bond measure. Bond paid off and now the city thinks they can do whatever they want with it, public be damned. They also thought it ok to take the Carrillo lot from the paid commuters, wasting money that would only help a small percentage of the homeless and hurt the neighbors. Why does the station need to be downtown? Does every city do this, no. Maybe they just need fix the station we have and put in a sub station in another part of town. Cota does flood and its also just above sea level. Parking will need to be underground. How many spaces will they have? Enough for all the city vehicles? Enough to give the public a place to park when visiting? Don't we still have to fund this? Needs another bond measure. A simple majority would go to the general fund. Remember the ads with our sad streets and failing sewers, etc.? Take a cruise through the lower westside and ask yourself if that money is being spent on the projects presented in the election ads. Then ask yourself how much you trust the city.

biguglystick Sep 17, 2019 10:26 AM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

Not only that, but if they build a new station on Cota st. the surrounding blocks will become congested. I work right downtown on Cota and I seriously do NOT want the Cop Shop on my block!!!

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 08:31 AM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

Only $70 a month to park? Outrageous! My taxes subsidizing a commuter who also pollutes the air, and adds traffic to 101. Commuters should pay at least $20 a day or $400 a month. In Other cities it’s $500 a month and up. SB City needs to STOP THE GIVE AWAYS!

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 05:24 AM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

I agree that the Cota Street location is not the best location for the new police station. I don’t know why no one is considering using the old Verizon building on Chapala and Canon Perdido. They have a large parking lot that has been empty for years. The old building is currently used by Frontier and I believe the majority of the building is empty. They already have all of the telecommunications systems on site. They could use this building permanently or they could tear down the old police station and rebuild to bring it up to date and add space to accommodate future growth for the police department.

a-1571370022 Sep 16, 2019 11:19 PM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

If the SBPD station is at the old Sears lot and the police have to drive down State, heading toward downtown area, maybe something will finally be done about that Chick-fil-A ongoing boondoggle with Chick-fil-A customers in vehicles blocking the right traffic lane.

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 10:04 PM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

Yeah. It's okay for those of us who know that lane will be blocked. How insensitive can you get, having no sympathy for others who don't know and get stuck sitting and sitting in that lane? All that matters is you filling yourself with fastfood junk. Aren't you a real mensch.

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 11:43 AM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

BUS: If you simply wanted to t-r-y their food and see for yourself what all the hub-bub is about, you could ask someone to buy it FOR you...problem solved. Do not forget to ask for their special sauce, which only CFA has (quite delicious).

a-1571370022 Sep 17, 2019 08:00 AM
Opinion: Why I Don't Support a New Police Station On Cota

The traffic congestion near Chick-fil-A used to bother me, until I learned not to stay in the right lane when driving in that area. IF you get into the right lane (heading toward d/t SB) there's never a problem. That being said, I l-o-v-e the chicken sandwiches at Chick-fil-A, their waffle fries are "the bomb," and they have the best lemonade in town. It is nice to know that some local businesses are doing so well as to have traffic "problems." I drive by the "mini" Target store on upper State several times a day, and have yet to experience any of the traffic nightmares predicted (except in the first two weeks they were in biz). Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches....try one and you'll be hooked and be part of the Chick-fil-A family!!!

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